Pat's way: Hit and run

August 27, 1991

Pat Robertson, erstwhile TV preacher and presidential candidate, went to Wichita this week to give absolution to law-breaking. Robertson encouraged anti-abortion protesters, some of whom were involved in a violent attack Sunday against a female employee of a medical clinic, to continue defiance of a federal court order banning them from blocking clinic entrances. He likened the demonstrators to the Moscow citizens who stood up to the tanks in last week's coup attempt, to abolitionists who battled slavery and Germans who opposed Hitler's genocide.

Question: If Robertson really feels that strongly, why didn't he show up the next day in the vanguard of the anti-abortion demonstrators? Why did he scurry back to the safety of Virginia? If he really believes in the strength and efficacy of civil disobedience, why doesn't he emulate the example of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who went to jail himself for disobeying segregation laws.

There's a word for people who encourage other people to break the law, then flee the jurisdiction to allow others to take the consequences of such advice: hypocrite.

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